A #SHRM19 Interview with the American Society for Healthcare Human Resources Administration (ASHHRA)


This is a 2019 SHRM Annual Conference and Exposition (#SHRM19) interview is with ASHHRA, the American Society for Healthcare Human Resources Administration. Below is a quick Q&A with the organization. 

Who is ASHHRA!? Tell us everything, just as you would someone approaching your booth and asking you this question at #SHRM19 in Las Vegas.

ASHHRA is the American Society for Healthcare Human Resources Administration, we’re a professional membership group of the American Hospital Association (AHA). We serve HR leaders in the health care field, across the continuum of care – hospitals, health systems, clinics, long-term care facilities, etc. We provide education, resources, networking opportunities and advocacy specific to health care HR. We host the only national, annual conference focused specifically on health care HR, where HR professionals can learn, connect, and foster long-lasting connections with leading business partners.

What are the benefits of the ASHHRA membership?
ASHHRA membership provides access to education and resources that are health care-specific. That includes our quarterly HR Pulse magazine, monthly webinars , a robust on-demand learning library, learning sessions at our annual conference, benchmarking surveys and reports – they’re all tailored for the health care HR profession.

More specifically, ASHHRA members have exclusive access to a number of benefits: the ASHHRA Exchange, an online community and discussion forum for members to ask or answer questions, share resources and connect with other members; project time from the AHA Resource Center to conduct research and find answers to challenging questions; print and digital versions of the HR Pulse magazine; labor trends and reports; and critical advocacy updates. Membership also includes free or discounted pricing for educational products and resources, including on-demand webinars, conference registration, job posts in the Career Center and more.

All of the membership benefits and details can be found online.

What differentiates you from other professional membership groups?

Our specificity.  What distinguishes ASHHRA most from other groups is our focus on health care within the human resources sphere. We are distinctly health care HR. Health care is faced with unique challenges and nuances, so it’s imperative that we, as an organization, continue to provide the support our members need.  We see ourselves as a collaborative addition to the work that SHRM is doing, a deeper dive into similar issue but from the health care perspective. That is one of the reasons we offer a joint membership between ASHHRA and SHRM, where you can have both ASHHRA and SHRM memberships but with the ease of a single transaction and discounted dues. That option is available only through ASHHRA.

What are the biggest challenges HR professionals face in the health care field? How do they overcome those challenges?

In healthcare, our ultimate goal is to advance health in our communities, and the role of HR is critical in our ability to meet that goal. Our members are faced with serious challenges in ensuring the right care is available at the right place at the right time. Recruitment for unique and highly sought after positions are challenging across the spectrum. There are also unique challenges around regulatory compliance, nursing shortages, physician burnout, HCAHPs scores, employee retention and engagement, turnover, staffing ratios, labor activity, etc. Health care HR leadership requires creativity, insight and teamwork to address these issues. Our members take care of the care providers, and we take that role very seriously.

If you had one piece of advice for HR professionals, what would it be? What about for SHRM attendees?

Join your professional association and get actively involved on any level. You are not alone, there is a community wanting and waiting to work with and support you in your role. Attend webinars, participate in discussion forums, join a committee or task force, submit articles for publication, attend the annual conference – there are countless ways to engage. By getting involved, you’re able to tap into the collective knowledge, experience and expertise of your peers, helping you to grow both professionally and personally. Essentially, it’s good for your career, good for the profession, good for patients, and good for YOU.

For anyone who won’t be able to make it to the ASHHRA booth in Las Vegas, what do you want them to know?

We know HR professionals transition between industries. Health care is growing and changing, and will continue to be a viable career path for as long as there are people who need care. If you’re in health care HR or are interested in the health care field, you SHOULD be an ASHHRA member. The benefits and value of membership far outweigh the price of dues. Also, for those who could not make it to SHRM, come to the ASHHRA annual conference! This year, we’ll be in Chicago, September 21 – 24, right in the heart of downtown (just steps from Michigan Avenue). If you can’t join us this year, in 2020, we will be in Denver, August 22 – 25.


Visit the ASHHRA booth #2202 at #SHRM19!


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